Stainless Steel – Caring for Your Investment
Steel is the preferred choice of material for many of todays buildings, commercial spaces, technology and a wide range of products. Favoured for its strength, style and ease of maintenance it is not hard to see why. Like anything, steel requires routine cleaning and maintenance in order to perform and look its best. Read on to discover everything you need to know about caring for your investment.
Mascot Steel – Attention to Detail during Fabrication and Shipment
It’s not uncommon for stainless steel to become damaged during shipment, and potentially even during fabrication. Whilst stainless steel enjoys superior protection thanks to its clear oxide film, this does not make it immune to the effects of contamination, heat damage, thermal expansion, passivation and pickling.
At Mascot Steel, we keep a watchful eye throughout the fabrication process to minimise the risk of damage. We have dedicated processing areas for stainless steel to reduce the risk of contamination, and our tools are carefully selected based on suitability and proven performance when working with stainless steel.
We are also conscious of local heating, contaminant removal (lubricants, paint etc) prior to welding and use sheets from the same batch wherever possible to ensure even colour and finish. Prior to delivery, we also complete a thorough passivation and pickling process that allows us to deliver the best possible product to our customers. Once received, you will be responsible for any ongoing maintenance discussed below.
Common Issues Affecting Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is widely used in constructing a range of different buildings. Care must be taken to prevent surface contamination throughout the build, as small deposits of iron/rust can lead to premature corrosion of stainless steel. Salty sea air can also cause corrosion, so you will need to be mindful of storage and use throughout the build.
Discolouration of stainless steel can occur in environments which experience frequent temperature fluctuations, for example indoor swimming pools/aquatic centres. Due to the effects of heat and humidity, maintenance should be carried out on a more frequent basis.
Finally, stainless steel used in commercial environments may become discoloured due to improper use of cleaning/sterilizing products. Most products when used according to manufacturer guidelines will not cause any issues, but improper use may result in discolouration or corrosion. It is important to note that acid solutions should NEVER be used with stainless steel.
Steel Storage during Construction
Steel may be delivered wrapped in plastic for protection. Whilst this will protect the steel from damage, ultra-violet light can cause the film to become sticky and difficult to remove. Indoor storage is strongly recommended, and ideally you should remove the wrapping upon successful delivery. It’s also a good idea to remove all traces of sticky residue, as this may trap dirt and contribute to corrosion down the track.
Steel should be stored under tarpaulins or plastic sheeting, not cardboard or paper as they are likely to absorb water which will lead to discolouration.
Cleaning Schedules after Project Completion
Cleaning schedules will depend on your desired appearance/design. If you want to maintain lustre and a clean appearance, you should clean your structural steel whenever you notice dirt.
For structural steel used in industrial applications, cleaning should be carried out every 3-6 months. There’s no shortage of stainless-steel cleaning products on the market, and as long as you choose a reputable brand you should see great results.
Need further advice? Contact Mascot Steel Today
Stainless steel is attractive, hygienic, strong, durable and easy to maintain. By following the above recommendations, you can expect many years of enjoyment and reliable service. If you would like any further information about maintenance and cleaning products for various grades of steel, please get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help.